Asia’s premier adventure playground, Nepal is the nirvana for travelers ready to experience the ultimate adventure journey. Apart from the mighty mountains, over 8000 meters high, Nepal attracts with a variety of adventurous sports that offer a unique experience. One such extreme sport is paragliding, the purest way to venture into the wild blue out there without a motor or motor. Paragliding is a recreational adventure sport that involves flying high in the sky by dashing off the slopes in complimentary parachutes. Nepal offers paragliding pilot course for experienced adventurers who seek the adrenaline of paragliding on their own while enjoying bird’s eye view of green valleys, white bubbling water streams, rolling green hills, etc. Here you will find detailed information about the paragliding pilot course in Nepal.
Get a paragliding pilot course
Completing a paragliding pilot course is necessary to earn the paragliding pilot license, which allows you to fulfill your personal flying needs or engage in commercial tandem paragliding for clients. The paragliding pilot course includes basic and advanced training and includes theoretical and practical exercises with licensed instructors. You must have paragliding travel insurance, a state permit to fly, and APPI membership to take the paragliding pilot course.
Contents of the paragliding pilot course
The path to becoming a paraglider pilot begins with paragliding beginner course, designed to develop flying skills and confidence in aspiring pilots to explore the skies and take wings off the ground. Depending on the paragliding school, the beginner course can last from 5 to 15 days and usually includes the basics of paragliding and thorough training to become an independent solo pilot and acquire the ability to fly unsupervised.
As a beginner in the paragliding pilot course, you will learn basic knowledge of equipment, meteorology, safety equipment, landing zones, weight shifting, communication, etc. and practice solo and tandem flights. Some paragliding schools also offer quick private courses to qualify you as an APPI Solo Paragliding Pilot.
In addition, there are three levels of paragliding pilot courses for the amateur thermal course, the cross-country paragliding course and the ACRO and SIV course. Such courses follow the Para-Pro syllabus designed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (the world governing body for air sports), resulting in an FAI authorized license recognized by an airport association in each country.
Paragliding Thermal Flying is a 3-5 day course specializing in thermal flying to improve and consolidate the basic pilot knowledge and skills to make the most of lift and be able to perform longer flights. You will receive a radio to communicate when finding, catching and staying in the thermals. Aimed at novice pilots, the thermals course includes theory classes to understand thermal sources, triggers and dynamics, as well as hands-on training with two daily flights supervised by licensed instructors.
The longer you are in the air, the more you learn to paraglide; The flight session is subject to weather conditions. You must be at least 18 years old and have paragliding travel insurance that covers medical and repatriation transport to participate in a thermal course. In addition, the completion of the beginner course (P3 level) is also a prerequisite for the thermal course.
The standard cost for a thermal course is €500, but there is an extra charge of €175 to purchase the radio and equipment. Costs include all class and flight training sessions, transport to take-off and pick-up from the landing zone, accommodation, three meals per day and a permit to fly.
After mastering the skills of ridge soaring and thermalling, the next level in the paraglider pilot course is the cross-country (XC) course. Cross-country flying is a long-distance flight course in an unfamiliar environment that requires more advanced flying technique. Like a thermal course, XC is a 3-5 day paragliding course but includes more intensive learning about thermals, local and general climate, emergency procedures, radio guidance, etc.
XC involves adventurous flying from the familiar environs of the ridge into the unfamiliar mountain environment, requiring the symbolic severing of links from the hill. In addition to practice, pilots must maintain a peak mental state to master the challenge of cross country flying. In addition to several theory lessons, students will get used to mountain flying and learn about flight conditions, thermals, XC route, retrievals, etc. Sarangkot ridge is the ideal spot for XC flying in Pokhara due to its suitable weather conditions, easy access, fascinating views and easy retrieval.
In order to participate in a cross-country paragliding course, you must be over the age of 18 and have a valid beginner course license and paragliding insurance. The additional requirement is at least 100 hours of airtime. The 5 day XC paragliding pilot course can cost around 500 euros and will cover your training fees, flight permit, transport and accommodation costs etc.
Much more than a simple tandem outing, the acrobatics course is the best way to discover paragliding and its extreme flight manoeuvres. The course is designed to learn the art of pulling tricks and stunts with the wings and the limitations of those wings. Usually spread over three days, the paragliding acro course is all about mastering the paraglider. It includes multiple maneuver exercises such as spiral dive, full stall, wingover, SAT, asymmetric spiral, full dynamic stall from wing over, looping, mac twist, misty flip, asymmetric SAT, etc.
Up the ladder to advanced paraglider pilot training there is the SIC (Simulation d’Incident en Vol) course which addresses wing control in unexpected scenarios including turbulence, canopy collapse, spin etc. Designed to improve your all-around flying skills. The SIV course increases safety levels when flying by offering advanced safety procedures, controlled wing folding in stages over water, procedures for recovery from specific scenarios, emergency techniques, etc. The 3-day SIV course is held in a safe environment over Fewa Lake, flying from Sarangkot Hill.
The minimum requirements for participation in the Acrobatic Paragliding course:
- Minimum age 18 years
- Possess a valid Beginner Course Certificate and SIV Course Certificate
- Completed at least 100 flights
- Have valid paragliding travel insurance
A standard fee of 500 euros applies for 3-day acro and SIV courses, including training fees, transport and fees for boat rescue and emergency teams.
Duration of the paragliding pilot course
Depending on the paragliding school and level of study, the duration of the paragliding course can vary from several days to months. While dedicated paragliding courses last specific days, the entire course usually takes two years – from basic training to advanced commercial pilot training. Beginning with the Beginner Course you will gradually pave the paraglider pilot path to a progressive level and on to thermalling to cross country flying to SIV/Acrobatics before reaching the final tandem pilot/instructor milestone.
As a tandem pilot, you are certified to operate commercial paragliding where you and your client enjoy the thrill of soaring like a bird in the sky, creating a lifetime memory that you will cherish forever.
Who offers a paragliding pilot course?
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the government agency responsible for the safety oversight of civil aviation, has delegated certain functions to the authorized Nepalese authorities to regulate recreational aviation activities, including paragliding, in Nepal. Registered recreational aviation operators can issue, suspend or revoke paragliding pilot licenses in Nepal. Nepal Air Sports Association, Blue Sky Paragliding and Babu Adventures Paragliding School are some licensed agencies that provide official education and training on paragliding in Nepal.
Also read: Aviation leisure activities in Nepal
CAAN introduced the concept of a paragliding license in 2015 to systematically manage the sport of paragliding and control tax evasion and illegal flights. Previously, there was no provision for authentic licenses in Nepal.
Precautions for solo flying in the Nepalese sky
As CAAN controls the airspace of Nepal, you must obtain a permit to fly in order to take to the Nepalese skies, which requires a valid pilot license, insurance and at least an APPI Solo Pilot certification. It is also important to obtain membership in the NAA.
In order to work as a paraglider pilot in Nepal, you need to get a tandem license. In the case of a foreign paraglider pilot holding a foreign license, a work permit is required to work in Nepalese paragliding companies. Under the rule, CAAN-approved agencies can recommend work permits and non-tourist visas for such holders.
The best places to paraglide in Nepal
Pokhara is undoubtedly the best destination in Nepal to experience the most exciting tandem paragliding experience. Likewise, Nepal’s other majestic paragliding spots are Chapkharka, Godavari, Phulchoki, Bandipur and Kot Danda. Paragliding flights usually start around 10:00 am and continue at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, operating three flights per day. Morning flights are stable, while midday consists mostly of turbulent flights due to the formation of thermals. Tandem flights are available, but take solo flights to fly solo by qualifying with a paragliding pilot course.